NY Pain Doc Arrested: 10 Patients Dead From OD [VIDEO]
A Queens NY pain management doctor made a practice of peddling prescriptions to addicts and drug dealers, including a man who killed four people in a pharmacy robbery and at least 10 of his patients have died of drug overdoses according to authorities.
Dr. Stan Li wrote more than 17,000 prescriptions – mainly for oxycodone and other highly addictive painkillers – in the last 2 1/2 years at his Queens weekend clinic where he would see up to 120 patients per day. One patient had overdosed numerous times yet Li continued to prescribe him narcotics until ultimately he had a fatal overdose.
Li’s lawyer, Aaron M. Wallenstein, says the doctor denies everything, has acted “responsibly” and “wants to fight this to the end.” Li, 57, is being held on $500,000 bail after pleading not guilty to prescription sale and reckless endangerment charges. Currently the charges all relate to one patient, but prosecutors said more charges were expected. We would not be surprised to see a murder charge pop up here.
Li was born in China and has been a U.S. citizen since 1999. He works full time as an anesthesiologist at a hospital, running his Medical Pain Management clinic on Saturdays and occasional Sundays. He was charging either $100 or $150 per visit, with his scale depending on how “complex” the patient was.
In August of this year officials in Palm Beach County, Florida, conducted a large sweep of “pill mills” arresting 32 people including 14 physicians, one of whom was charged with murder. Dr. Gerald Joseph Klein was charged by prosecutors in the Palm Beach County state’s attorney’s office with first-degree murder in the death of Joseph Stephen Bartolucci. Authorities say that on Feb. 27, 2009, Bartolucci, a repeat patient of Klein’s, filled a prescription from Klein and died shortly thereafter of a drug overdose.